"And this is where the closet creaks open" --Leon Prollius, "Use of the Media"
Forty-two years before the same-sex marriage postal survey, twenty-two years before Ellen DeGeneres came out on television, one month before sexual acts between men were even legal anywhere in Australia, six hundred self-identified homosexuals travelled from as far as Perth and Townsville to the 1975 National Homosexual Conference (NHC) at Melbourne University. It was the first of ten annual conferences discussing lesbian women and gay men's oppression and avenues for liberation. However, holding NHC faced a major issue: how could homosexuals come together in public when just being out of the closet could be volatile? The Conference Committee and attendees both voiced concerns and displayed implicit awareness of many social risks associated with bringing their ideas to a public conference. However, actual dangers were also expressed in relation to not holding NHC at all, thus many ultimately believed it was important to come out for a Conference.
Early advertisement for NHC, published in University of New South Wales student newspaper Tharunka.